|Index||6 reviews in total|
It took awhile to like this film--the first few moments, I was
beginning to assume it was just another period piece throwing disco
music and wide lapels at us. Instead, this film is what "Last Days of
Disco" should have been--a dark film with a message. The hanky moment
at one-hour 40 minutes into it. Instead of a single club focus, this
film dips into the culture beyond a club and focuses, like SNF, on the
conflict disco dance clubbing created between families and when
promiscuity and drugs shattered families. It also throws in a current
with the business of music and disco--when artists were cheated out of
royalties and the transitions some one-hit wonders were able to undergo
to sustain themselves and careers while others faded into oblivion and
a haze of drugs.
The conflicted character of Tino serves as a perfect representative of those men then, and now, who saw the need to fulfill cultural obligations to raise a family, yet a craving to satisfy their innate, birthright.
FYI: white party in this film refers to participants wearing all-white, not the 1990's circuit parties.
I imagine the makers of Funkytown wanted to tell the story of the
decline of Quebec in the wake of separatism during the late 1970s in a
film that was a cross between American Graffiti and Studio 54. However,
what they ended up with was a film that was too long (there was enough
plot to feed a television series for an entire season!), had too many
story lines, undeveloped stereotypical characters, and was poorly
On top of this, the film had numerous serious historical errors that the writer could have checked on wikipedia! The panoramic views of New York and Toronto show skylines that don't match the eras; White parties didn't exist until the mid 1980s; Studio 54 wasn't open until 1977 despite references to it in the movie during 1976; Many songs are played in the wrong years - for example Donna Summer's Bad GIrls is played in 1976; plus there are many things that are pushed into the 70s that are arguably not correct, from AIDS symptoms to New Wave.
Its too bad because at the heart of this mess of a film there is actually a good idea for a Mad Men type television series that follows various characters through late 1970s Quebec.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Funkytown' follows the impact of the disco era on the lives of the
main protagonists and how they come together and interact, where else,
but in a Montreal Disco called the 'Starlight'. There's some mention of
the politics of the time in the background, but that's all it is,
The main character leaves his family and loses his career to cocaine while the Italian Guido discovers his homosexuality after his moma commits suicide. The son of the disco owner becomes a man when he stands up to daddy and the model finds a voice thanks to lip synch. Wait there's more. The gay fashionista falls for the straight, who finally isn't. The washed up singer discovers new wave and the crocked artist manager gets shot.
If it's sound like a seasons worth of afternoon soap opera story lines, it's because it is. 'Funkytown' manages to hold it together for about half the film but unravels under the weight of all those intrigues.
Much of this movie is based on the lives of real people notably Alain Montpetit, the king of disco and Douglas 'Coco' Leopold, the Perez Hilton of the time. Both of them defined the Disco Era in Montréal.
Patrick Huard does a good job of playing Montpetit but he can't hide that he's a little too old for the role and that goes to credibility.
This movie was conceived in an attempt to appeal to both the Québec and the larger Canadian market. So marketing to both audiences is an important element of the writing in this movie and certainly does it a disservice.
Indeed, Funkytown is centered around a fictitious Montreal discotheque,
Starlight, and the record industry in separatist Quebec during the late
1970's. Yes, many hits from the 1970's disco era are featured, albeit,
as covers which helped keep production costs down. One song featured is
by Boney M - Daddy Cool - a song I had never heard of until this movie.
It turns out, it was a number one hit in many European countries but
not in the U.S.
Most of the main characters are unsympathetic to the other characters which is supposed to reflect the me-ism of the 1970s.
The production for this film was rather good and, overall, I enjoyed this movie, and I truly believe this film is better than Boogie Nights.
I just picked up the copy of Funky Town expecting some watered down
version of what really happened back then. Oh boy, did it hit all of my
First, I am a Vietnam Veteran and although I came home in 1969, the US was in the war until 1973. People were in a need to find, invent and test new things. That included drugs, women and music.
I did not dance until Disco started, but once I started, I couldn't stop, that includes today and I am 65-years old. I traveled extensively across the US and Canada for my company.
Not a night went by I wasn't trolling up and down the highways in Boston, San Francisco,Toronto or Vancouver and places in between, searching for a place to show off my moves with some hot, beautiful woman. I had a two, maybe three hour window from when the bars closed at 4 AM to the time I went to work and started all over again. I have no physical memory of my 38th birth year. No I never, ever did drugs, it was just everything was a blur.
I met many memorable people. I also met my wife, but for two years prior, we traveled across the mid-west United States showing people the Disco dance moves.
If you did not exist or were in your diapers then, it is hard to explain the movement, the dances, fashions, singers and music.
And yes, people actually sang. It played on the radio, television, in cafe's, hallways, blared from anemic car radios and stores. You could not escape it.
Oh did I say I am a Jaguar XKE buff?
This is a good movie to check out I think the story has some pretty obvious low points and holes but over all the production value is super high. They have a couple recognized big name actors in it but the entire cast is decent enough to watch usually a low budget Canadian type movie like this has some real bad acting actors in it but that is not a problem here. The movie I wish could have been more funny in spots but it is more about the situations and some drama being built around all that. I am a fan of the star and he does a lot of movies lately so hopefully there will be more, I think this movie deserves to be seen so check it out sometime! Support Canada cinema!
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